China To Release Online Video Policy

    December 28, 2007

China says it will release a policy on online video sharing and broadcasting next year, Wang Xudong, Minister of Information Industry, told local media at an annual national information conference.

The policy will be the first to be jointly issued by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Currently, SARFT regulates TV and online video broadcasting, while the MII regulates Internet content providers.

An official from MII’s regulation department said that it is difficult to decide which businesses should be regulated by SARFT and which by MII in the online video sector. He said the responsibilities of the ministries will be spelled out in the new regulations, which are still being discussed, according to Interfax China online.

Mr. Wang said that companies in the online video business should first apply for certification from SARFT, and then apply for further certification from MII once the new regulations have been released.

Current regulations do not clarify if foreign videos are banned from online video sharing and broadcasting sites in China. Many foreign TV and film companies provide content online instead of through television channels, which are even more regulated by the government.